Divergent co-stars Shailene Woodley and Theo James may be two of Hollywood’s hottest upcoming actors, but the in a sit down for the March issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download now, the duo prove to be easygoing, down-to-earth, and — much like their characters in the film, out March 21 — fearless.
In fact, Woodley was so intrepid she let on-set hairstylist Sebastien Richard cut her long locks into a sleek crop cut inspired by Linda Evangelista circa 1989. The shorter, low-maintenance style seems to suit her perfectly. “When I walk into a room with the least amount of makeup on I feel the most confident,” she says. “When I walk into a party wearing nice-looking comfortable jeans and a comfortable nice-looking shirt and comfortable shoes, and everyone else is in cocktail dresses and heels, I fee empowered because I’m fully dancing to the beat of my own drum, and that feels good.”
What else feels good? Playing the character of Tris. “She is an incredibly strong human being who isn’t bad ass by nature, like a Katniss Everdeen,” she says. James, meanwhile, describes his character Four as “a mysterious figure who is very closed and very reluctant to trust, but he falls in love with Tris and becomes very protective of her because they have these soul mate qualities.”
In reality, what do the on-screen lovebirds think of each other? Keep reading for the rest of our exclusive interview with Woodley and James, and for more, pick up the March issue of InStyle, on newsstands and available for digital download now.
Shailene Woodley: I had a lot of fun working with Theo. Having him by my side felt really reassuring and comfortable. I feel protected by him in a really great way.
Theo James: Shai has a strong sense of self and a strong sense of how she wants to handle herself as an actress and as a person who is really unique and really strong. She can keep two feet on the ground but still be able to achieve everything she wants to achieve. She’s a much better person than me, basically.
SW: I can be around Theo and laugh all day. If he messes up a scene, instead of asking to do another take, he’ll say something hilarious and start telling a joke.
TJ: Yeah, I’m definitely a joker. It’s important to find the fun in these kind of films or it can become a bit heavy. So there were a lot of pranks and water bottles on set.
SW: Theo, what do you find the most intimidating about the success that you’ve recently found?
TJ: While I find my job as an actor challenging, I also think that there’s fun in that challenge. So for me, what I find to be the most intimidating is having to go to so many parties and events and try to be a charming, larger-than-life character. Inherently, I’m not a huge extrovert, so I actually find interviews and all the glamour to be a bit challenging sometimes. Shai, since you asked me a proper question, I guess I have to ask you one, too, instead of a joke. If you weren’t an actress, what would you be?
SW: Well, I love the environment and cultivating a life where there is a respect between myself and the nature around me. It’s an entire lifestyle now—from collecting my own spring water to knowing what plants around me are healing and what plants I can use for food sources to even using plants as makeup. I’ve worn beets and berries on my lips before as a lip stain. I also love to cook—I can make a really bad-ass lasagna.
TJ: And I was going to say that Shai would probably be a pixie in the forest.